I can’t say I’m very surprised with how Australian Open has turned out so far. All the top players are still in the draw and no really major upsets have taken place. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are all ready for the quarters and so let’s look at the opposition:
Federer vs Del Potro – Del Potro looked back to grand slam winner form against Kohlschreiber and if he can keep that up he will be dangerous for Federer who has had problems getting past the QF stage of Grand Slams of late. On the other hand, Federer looked absolutely spectacular when he crushed super-talented youngster Tomic and I think that form is going to be to difficult for Del Potro to cope with. I predict Federer in four pretty tight sets.
Fantasy scoreline Federer vs Del Potro = 7-5 4-6 6-4 6-2
Nadal vs Berdych – Tomas Berdych is playing really well right now, but he didn’t exactly win the hearts of the Aussie fans when he refused to shake hands with hot-tempered Almagro after he beat the Spaniard 4-6 7-6 7-6 7-6 (Almagro did hit a ball straight at Berdych, to be fair). Fans or no fans, he won’t be strong enough to beat Nadal who looks ready to prove himself and is dying for a rematch with Novak Djokovic in the semis. I think Nadal might lose a set, but the rest will be pretty straightforward.
Fantasy scoreline Nadal vs Berdych = 6-7 6-4 6-3 6-2
Murray vs Nishikori – The young Japanese talent Nishikori is playing the best tennis of his life and was very impressive in his five set win against Tsonga, but against a guy who always plays great in Australia and who seems very keen on impressive his new coach Ivan Lendl, I think the task is too tall. Kei shouldn’t be used to playing this many long matches and I sadly think he will lose in three.
Fantasy scoreline Murray vs Nishikori = 6-4 6-2 6-3
Djokovic vs Ferrer – At the time of writing Djokovic has just started his match against Hewitt, but no matter how great the crowd will be for the aging native, there’s no way he is going to book a place in the quarters, especially considering how ruthless Djokovic has been with his opponents and how much he loves playing in Australia.
Ferrer has also played well and is always such an inspiring fighter, but it’s hard to see what anyone can do against the world number one when he’s in this form. Ferrer will run everything down, but in the end I see only three sets.
Fantasy scoreline Djokovic vs Ferrer =7-5 6-4 6-1
This brings us to a mouthwatering semi-final line-up of: Federer vs Nadal and Djokovic vs Murray. The fantastic four of tennis back in action!
But maybe my crystal ball is lying?